Monday, 10 December 2007

In solidarity with the Middle East

Archbishop Asadourian of Baghdad (left) spoke at prayers this morning of the ongoing plight of Iraquis and Iraqui Christians in particular. He said Christians in Iraq showed great faith and great love but that it was often extremely difficult for them to find or experience hope after four and a half years of the current conflict. He also drew a parallel between the flight of Christians from Iraq and the wider exodus of Christians from the whole of the Middle East. Will the current levels of conflict throughout the region lead to the complete exile of some of the oldest Christian churches in the world?
We sang in Arabic yarabba ssalammi - Lord give us peace - as our response in the intercessions and then the Lord's prayer in Syriac led by Bishop George. Actually considering how ad hoc our rehearsals had been our singing was rather good this morning, you'll be able to find the full liturgy here (soon).
Meanwhile I learnt today that Rod Benson is now blogging about a visit of Australian church leaders to Israel and Palestine. Rod is Director of the Centre for Christian Ethics, a research centre affiliated with Morling College and the Baptist Church in Australia. As part of the blog you can also vote on whether Israel should end the occupation of the West Bank, there are just three days left to register your vote. Rod has also written about the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme and you can learn more about EAPPI by clicking on the links. There's also an article here from the Washington Post on some Middle East Christians turning to evangelical Christianity, it quotes Michel Nseir from the WCC on the wider situation of Christians in the Middle East.
Reading Rod's profile on the blog I discovered that he also runs three other blogs, reflecting on ethics and theology from an Australian and international perspective, here we go, one, two, three. (And please don't ask me how he finds the time to do all that!)
And finally ever since reading about it on Simon Barrow's Faith and Society blog I've been wanting to mention the Amos Trust's crêche which is made from Palestinian olive wood - it shows a tall wall of separation between the Magi and the stable. The symbolism is powerful.

Photo: Stephen Brown


KreativeMix said...

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Sa Lone Pikin

KreativeMix said...
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Jane said...

Thanks so much!
You sound amazing - I love your reading list!
Will go and read your blog soon but must cook some supper!